COVID-19 L3 Emergency – External Situation Report #13, 20 August 2020


COVID-19 is deepening global food insecurity, as the economic impact of pandemic exacerbates expected seasonal natural hazards and pre-existing food security challenges. WFP has mobilized in response, including supporting more than 500,000 people affected by COVID-19 in the host community in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; providing food assistance to 20,000 households immobilised by COVID-19 in Conakry, Guinea; and reaching 559,000 learners in Malawi with takehome school meals.

Resourcing remains the primary challenge to WFP’s ability to scale up and wage a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WFP Global Response to COVID-19 plan remains significantly underfunded, with USD 750 million in contributions against the required USD 4.9 billion. Likewise, WFP’s Global Common Services face significant funding shortfalls, with USD 207.6 million mobilized against the USD 965 million requirement.

Following the cataclysmic blast in Beirut, WFP is working around the clock to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. WFP’s first shipment of 12,500 metric tonnes of wheat flour arrived in Beirut on Tuesday 18 August; WFP has also procured 150,000 food parcels to distribute to families impacted by the explosion, economic crisis and COVID-19. Health officials have warned that the chaos caused by the explosion risks accelerating the spread of COVID-19; on 17 August, Lebanon registered a record high number of new daily cases and imposed a two-week lockdown starting 21 August.

Globally, increased needs are stable at around USD 1.8 billion for July to December, a 29 percent increase compared to what was planned before the pandemic. The biggest relative increases are from Regional Bureau Panama, Regional Bureau Bangkok, Regional Bureau Johannesburg, the crisis response focus area, and the cash-based transfer modality.

Source: World Food Programme